Biologics gaining ground against psoriasis

February 18, 2005

Recent studies reveal encouraging news about biologic drugs' ability to battle psoriasis. An overview of the agents includes: Enbrel (etanercept, Immunex) remains the only biologic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating psoriatic arthritis.

Recent studies reveal encouraging news about biologic drugs' ability to battle psoriasis. An overview of the agents includes: Enbrel (etanercept, Immunex) remains the only biologic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating psoriatic arthritis.Remicade (infliximab, Centocor), an IV infusion drug currently undergoing phase 3 testing, already has shown impressive efficacy in phase 2 results.

"Of all the biologics, infliximab seems to have the highest efficacy," says Jeffrey M. Weinberg M.D., Columbia University.

Humira (adalimumab, Abbott), which recently entered phase 3 trials for psoriasis, appears to achieve an efficacy level between that of etanercept and infliximab.Unlike the TNF inhibitors above, Raptiva (efalizumab, Genentech) and Amevive (alefacept, Biogen) target T-cells. "The T-cell-targeting drugs appear to be very safe," Dr. Weinberg says.